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US Investors Reportedly Eye Disneyland, Universal Studios in Vietnam

A group of American investors expressed interests in to building a Disneyland in Saigon, a Universal Studios in Hanoi and a SeaWorld in Khánh Hòa Province.

Tuoi Tre reports that Johnathan Hạnh Nguyễn, the chairman of Imex Pan Pacific Group (IPPG) and one of Vietnam's most influential businesspeople, told attendees of a recent event that American investors have proposed three high-profile amusement park projects in the country.

The event, held last Thursday, was organized by Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper and focused on potential ways to encourage further economic breakthroughs for both Saigon and Vietnam as a whole. During a presentation, Nguyễn said he has spoken to a group of American investors who want to build a Disneyland in Saigon, a Universal Studios in Hanoi and a SeaWorld in Khánh Hòa Province. 

These proposals are part of a financial center master plan that Nguyễn has been working on since 2016, while an American consulting unit is expected to come up with a more detailed proposition for the three parks and the broader financial center. According to the news source, Nguyễn said that if approved, American investors would spend US$4 billion in Đà Nẵng and US$6 billion in Saigon for related projects, though it is not clear whether the amusement parks are included in this cost. 

He added that the unnamed investors estimate that a Disneyland in Saigon and Universal Studios in Hanoi would draw in 25 million tourists each annually, while SeaWorld would attract 20 million people every year. An overall plan for the financial center and the amusement parks is expected to be completed for submission to the government in April.

Globally, there are five Disneyland properties, in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Anaheim and Paris. Universal Studios, meanwhile, is present in Hollywood, Orlando, Osaka, Singapore and Beijing. 

SeaWorld currently has locations in San Diego, Orlando, San Antonio and Abu Dhabi, and has been criticized for years for their handling of animals, and especially their treatment of orcas following the release of the 2013 documentary Blackfish. Following that controversy, SeaWorld announced that they would eventually phase out orca shows, but as of 2020 they were still introducing new entertainment programs featuring the wondrous, highly intelligent animals. 

[Photo: Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California/Brandi Alexandra via Unsplash]

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